How to spend a weekend away from Milan, the idea started when recently a couple of friends have relieved and opened a Bed & Bike place in Vertova (Val Seriana). We all loved the idea that Francesco and Sara had for a holiday place where you can safely park your bike, borrow a tool if you need it, have a base for a tour in Seriana valley cycling lane, get muddy, go back, wash your bicycle, rest and be ready to cycle a new path.
Day one: Milan – Selvino Pass – Vertova (122 Km – 1,238 Elevation – Sunny & Warm)
We meet at 8 o’clock at the beginning of Martesana cycle lane which is a very long and enjoyable track to reach Lecco following canals at first and then Adda River and its old and beautiful hydroelectric power plants. We rode for about 30km before leaving the cycle lane to take the direction of Bergamo. We planned our tour before leaving, but it was pretty unexpected that we could cycle again on a wooded path that nearly connects Val Brembana cycle lane to the Val Seriana cycle lane. Shadowed from the trees and surrounded by woods our mood was high and we managed to arrive in Alzano Lombardo where the Val Seriana cycle lane starts in no time. We briefly stopped for a refreshment before heading towards the 19 hairpin bends that took us on Salvino Pass, one of the roads that in 2011 became popular thanks to “Giro d’Italia”. At each bend, we had a notice on a signal about one of the famous cyclists, on the top a water fountain that after 12 km exposed to the sun it looked like a mirage. Despite the hit and the climb, we still had to go further. Before the long and smashed downhill road, we climbed up to Ganda from where we could hear only the sound of cowbells. When we reached Vertova, it was at about 5 o’clock, we had just the time to unload our bicycle, appreciate Francesco and Sara’s warm welcome and have a quick shower. Vertova is a small village, with this old centre and its “mountain style” architecture, perfect to relax, hiking and cycling. Vertova is one of those places that no one knows about but when it happens to pass by no one would ever forget about it.
Day two: Vertova – Presolana Pass – Vertova (59 Km – 1,000 Elevation – Rain & Storms)
One of those days when you wake up full of energy and you want to go for a very long ride, but instead a hailstorm stops you on the door. This is what had happened. We had planned a tour from Vertova towards Presolana Pass, down to Iseo lake and back passing by Endine lake, instead, we had to cut it short and between one storm and another with many stops here and there we managed to climb Presolana Pass and go back in time before a last shower of the day. Presolana Pass from Clusone (popular for its medieval fresco “The Triumph of Death”) is pretty easy to climb, very nice the arrival on the top where the landscape changes into a remote ski resort. However, the street towards the pass was heavily trafficked by cars. Luckily we reached the top that was about lunchtime and the ride downhill was more peaceful. Of course, we were a bit disappointed with the day and full of mud when we came back home, however in a cycle tour the weather condition affects the ride and we have to live with it, enjoying the nature that is able to make you change your plan and surprise you with unexpected expressions of its power. Back in our Bed & Bike place we had washed our bicycle and relaxed reading a book. I cannot complain after all.
Day three: Vertova – Zambla Pass – Milan (134 Km – 1,425 Elevation – Sunny & Mild)
Time to say goodbye to Francesco and Sara, we had a really great time in Vertova and even if I didn’t mention about the food, both restaurants we went with our hosts had tasty food and yummy pizza, in case you visit them you should ask for recommendations! Sun was shining again but thanks to the storm the temperature remained agreeable. After a large breakfast, we were ready to climb our last pass of the weekend. Zambla Pass, 12 km uphill. We started from the Seriana cycle lane and when we turned for the main road to proceed towards the pass, we had to step out from the valley, it has been our muscle toning with a slope above 15%. The road uphill was just perfect, after the first slope, we had a chance to rest and climb again with more pleasure from one hairpin bend to another, little traffic, some other cyclists and a beautiful day ahead. Our tour carried downhill in the direction of Brembana valley on an amazing road with beautiful views and gentle curves. We reached Brembana valley cycle lane and from there we managed to connect in Villa D’Adda the Adda cycle lane, the same we used to leave Milan in the first day but starting from there the landscape is even more beautiful. We crossed the Adda river on a Leonardesque barge prototype, we felt like tourists even if we were going home. A long day cycling but all roads and cycle lanes made it very enjoyable.
TOTAL BUDGET 3 DAYS ALL-INCLUSIVE: 90 euro